To grow, strengthen, and unite local CASA programs so they can ensure the safety, well-being, and forever home for every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania.
Every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania has access to the service and support of a CASA volunteer.
The Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (PA CASA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 to grow, strengthen, and unite local CASA programs so they can ensure the safety, well-being, and forever home for every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania. To fulfill its mission, PA CASA supports the existing network of local CASA programs, builds new CASA programs, and secures resources critical to CASA’s mission. Currently, PA CASA provides training, technical assistance, and continuous quality improvement services to the 21 local CASA programs serving 27 counties. In the remaining 40 counties, PA CASA actively pursues program development and provides critical program development support. Through statewide advocacy, PA CASA provides resources that make it easier for CASA programs to serve children. PA CASA’s vision is for every abused and/or neglected child in Pennsylvania to have access to the service and support of a CASA volunteer.
In 1977, a Seattle Superior Court Judge named David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up in court to assist the judge in determining what course of action was in the best interest of the child. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement. News of the success of Judge Soukop’s experiment spread like wildfire and CASA programs sprang up all over the United States.
Currently, there are over 1,000 CASA programs throughout the United States, and CASA volunteers have helped more than 2 million children find safe, permanent homes in which they can thrive. CASA programs across the country are known by several different names, including Guardian Ad Litem, Child Advocates, and Voices for Children. Since the inception of CASA advocacy, volunteers have helped well over 1,000,000 children find safe and permanent homes.
For additional information, please refer to the National CASA/GAL website.